Nicolas Feuillatte champagne has arrived!

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After leaving France two months ago, more than 6500 bottles of Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte have finally reached their final destination: the province of Québec and its stores Sociétés des Alcools (SAQ) where they will be distributed right on time for the holidays!

For PortFranc, this coincides with the opening of the first transatlantic commercial sailing line between Montreal and La Rochelle, France. With the support of the Quebec Government, our subsidiary Portfranc Logistics has indeed established in the summer of 2017 a supply chain of intercontinental transport with very low carbon footprint.

 

We are extremely proud to have transported bottles of champagne Nicolas Feuillatte for the inaugural crossing in the holds of the majestic Avontuur sailboat.

Prepared at Epernay in the North-East of France, this exceptional wine joined La Rochelle Port with a minimal carbon footprint thanks to a truck powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas) supplied by Tempo One, our partner logistics in Europe. After crossing the major part of France, the vehicle has deposited the precious commodity in the Elcidis’ warehouses, in the Old Port of La Rochelle. This warehouse, operated by Proxiway for the La Rochelle Agglomeration Community, serves as the cornerstone for the last kilometer delivery in the city center by electric vehicles, and it is with one of these trucks without gasoline that the champagne has joined the Avontuur.

Built in 1920, the schooner got renovated in 2016 to be equipped with wind turbines and solar panels. Today the boat, operated by 15 sailors, can have more than 100 tons of merchandise, and allows PortFranc to make the first round-trip transatlantic carbon-free trade line of the five planned by the end of 2019.

Filled with the precious merchandise, the Avontuur left the port of La Rochelle on August 7th to cross the Atlantic passing by the Canary Islands. Of course, this type of journey is not easy: the schooner had to brave the raging ocean and face the strong winds, particularly violent hurricane remnants this summer, as a result of global warming.

Once the Grand Banks of Newfoundland reached, then the mouth of the St. Lawrence, the Avontuur and its Champagne had to thwart the headwinds to be able to descend the majestic river to Montreal. Finally, it is October 14th that the precious cargo reached the Quebec metropolis!

Two days after, a small army of dockers, sailors and Portfranc personnel unloaded Nicolas Feuillatte bottles. As in La Rochelle, the precious alcohol was transported from the port to the SAQ warehouse by electric truck, thanks to our Quebec partner Nordresa.

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The bottles were then stamped "imported by sailing", to finally be put on shelves in SAQ stores and become the first imported wines in Quebec with a carbon balance close to zero!

“The arrival of the Avontuur in Montreal marks a new step in PortFranc’s will to offer to Quebecor, canadian and american consumers exceptional products combining a unique expertise with a supply chain without carbon. We are very proud to have been able to bring to sail thousands of bottles Nicolas Feuillatte and soon find themselves in all SAQ,with a very low carbon footprint and affordable”, declared Joël Labrousse, President of PortFranc.

The first transatlantic sailing trip of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne was a success and marks a new era for the international transport of alcohol. Portfranc wishes once again to thank all its partners who have each contributed their stone to the building and without whom this unprecedented project would not have been possible. In particular, we wish to salute the Government of Quebec, the Marina and the La Rochelle Agglomeration Community, the Tempo One logistic group, the Port of Montreal, Nordresa and the Robert Reford maritime agency.

Special thanks to the Comité Champagne and Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, partners since the beginning.

Clément Sabourin